[ KELP JOURNAL] Can you talk about why you chose photography? What does this form provide that other media does not?
[TREY BURNETTE] For me, photography is practice of art and meditation. When I take photos, I am quiet and still, and I have to be in tune with my intuition and body. I generally take photos when I am traveling or out in nature for the day—times when I am connecting back to a peaceful state of being. Photography is visual and emotional—it does not require analysis or hard work—it allows me to simply feel.
[ KELP JOURNAL] What do you look for when framing a shot? What draws you to the pictures you take?
[TREY BURNETTE] When I frame a shot, I wait for the scene to tell me “that’s it.” Usually, there is a movement or a force that pulls me into the shot. That’s what I want, to be drawn into a photo, to be connected to it—not separate.
[ KELP JOURNAL] Should photographers be cognizant of the narrative they create of a place or time when exhibiting photos?
[TREY BURNETTE] If a photographer wants to tell a story, that’s up to that individual, and yes, that person should probably be cognizant of the narrative. But sometimes, you just want to take a beautiful photograph, and no story is needed.
[ KELP JOURNAL] How has the digital age affected photography?
[TREY BURNETTE] The digital age has made photography immediate. It has also allowed artists to be more creative and expansive with their work.
[ KELP JOURNAL] Are there any photographers that have influenced your work?
[TREY BURNETTE] I am sure there are, but subconsciously. Like with my writing, I like to use my own voice. I definitely look to others to see what elevates one’s work.
Trey Burnette is a photographer and writer who lives in Palm Springs, California. He has a BA in psychology from the University of Southern California, and is currently a creative writing MFA student at the University of California—Riverside. Trey uses a Leica camera, and sometimes his Iphone.